صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


Chequering the ground—from rock, plant, tree, or To Scotland's heaths; or those that crossed the sea tower.

And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam

Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Startles the pensive traveller while he treads Of vast circumference and gloom profound
His lonesome path, with unobserving eye This solitary Tree! a living thing
Bent earthwards ; he looks up—the clouds are split Produced too slowly ever to decay ;
Asunder,--and above his head he sees

Of form and aspect too magnificent
The clear Moon, and the glory of the heavens. To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
There, in a black-blue vault she sails along, Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Followed by multitudes of stars, that, small

Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
And sharp, and bright, along the dark abyss Huge trunks ! and each particular trunk a growth
Drive as she drives : how fast they wheel away,

Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Yet vanish not !--the wind is in the tree,

Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved; But they are silent ;-still they roll along Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks Immeasurably distant; and the vault,

That threaten the profane ;-a pillared shade,
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds, Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
Still deepens its unfathomable depth.

By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged
At length the Vision closes; and the mind, Perennially-beneath whose sable roof
Not undisturbed by the delight it feels,

Of boughs, as if for festal purpose, decked
Which slowly settles into peaceful calm,

With unrejoicing berries--ghostly Shapes Is left to muse upon the solemn scene.

May meet at noontide; Fear and trembling Hope,
1798. Silence and Foresight; Death the Skeleton

And Time the Shadow ;-there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,

United worship; or in mute repose

To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Not a breath of air

Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.
Ruffles the bosom of this leafy glen.
From the brook's margin, wide around, the trees
Are stedfast as the rocks; the brook itself,
Old as the hills that feed it from afar,
Doth rather deepen than disturb the calm
Where all things else are still and motionless.

And yet, even now, a little breeze, perchance

It seems a day Escaped from boisterous winds that rage without, (I speak of one from many singled out) Has entered, by the sturdy oaks unfelt,

One of those heavenly days that cannot die ; But to its gentle touch how sensitive

When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, Is the light ash! that, pendent from the brow

I left our cottage-threshold, sallying forth Of yon dim cave, in seeming silence makes

With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung, A soft eye-music of slow-waving boughs,

A nutting-crook in hand; and turned my steps Powerful almost as vocal harmony

Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure quaint,
To stay the wanderer's steps and soothe his thoughts. Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds

Which for that service had been husbanded,
By exhortation of my frugal Dame
Motley accoutrement, of power to smile
At thorns, and brakes, and brambles,-and, in truth,

More raggèd than need was! O'er pathless rocks,

Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thickets,
There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook
Which to this day stands single, in the midst Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:

Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign
Not loth to furnish weapons for the bands Of devastation; but the hazels rose
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung,





A virgin scene!-A little while I stood,

As if a voice were in them, the sick sight Breathing with such suppression of the heart And giddy prospect of the raving stream, As joy delights in ; and, with wise restraint The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens, Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed

Tumult and peace, the darkness and the lightThe banquet ;--or beneath the trees I sate Were all like workings of one mind, the features Among the flowers, and with the flowers I played; of the same face, blossoms upon one tree, A temper known to those, who, after long Characters of the great Apocalypse, And weary expectation, have been blest

The types and symbols of Eternity, With sudden happiness beyond all hope.

Of first, and last, and midst, and without end. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves

1799. The violets of five seasons re-appear And fade, unseen by any human eye ; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever ; and I saw the sparkling foam,

She was a Phantom of delight And—with my cheek on one of those green stones

When first she gleamed upon my sight; That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,

A lovely Apparition, sent Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep

To be a moment's ornament ; I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound,

Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair ; In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay

Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair ; Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure,

But all things else about her drawn The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,

From May-time and the cheerful Dawn; Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,

A dancing Shape, an Image gay, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose,

To haunt, to startle, and way-lay. And dragged to earth both branch and bough, with

I saw her upon nearer view, crash

A Spirit, yet a Woman too !
And merciless ravage: and the shady nook

Her household motions light and free,
Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower,
Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up

And steps of virgin-liberty ;
Their quiet being : and, unless I now

A countenance in which did meet

Sweet records, promises as sweet ;
Confound my present feelings with the past ;

A Creature not too bright or good
Ere from the mutilated bower I turned
Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,

For human nature's daily food ;

For transient sorrows, simple wiles, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld

Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles. The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky. Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades

And now I see with eye serene In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand

The very pulse of the machine ;
Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods.

A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death ;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill ;

A perfect Woman, nobly planned,

To warn, to comfort, and command ;

And yet a Spirit still, and bright
BROOK and road

With something of angelic light.
Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass,
And with them did we journey several hours
At a slow step. The immeasurable height
Of woods decaying, never to be decayed,
The stationary blasts of waterfalls,

O NIGHTINGALE ! thou surely art
And in the narrow rent, at every turn,

A creature of a 'fiery heart':Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn, These notes of thine-they pierce and pierce; The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, Tumultuous harmony and fierce ! The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Thou sing'st as if the God of wine Black drizzling crags that spake by the wayside Had helped thee to a Valentine;





[blocks in formation]

They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

As the Moon brightens round her the clouds of the

So He, where he stands, is a centre of light;
It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-browed Jack,
And the pale-visaged Baker's, with basket on back.



three years :

That errand-bound 'Prentice was passing in haste-
What matter! he's caught-and his time runs to

THE REVERIE OF POOR SUSAN. The Newsman is stopped, though he stops on the

fret; At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight And the half-breathless Lamplighter-he's in the appears,

net ! Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for

The Porter sits down on the weight which he bore; Poor Susan has passed by the spot, and has heard

The Lass with her barrow wheels hither her store ;In the silence of morning the song of the Bird.

If a thief could be here he might pilfer at ease; 'Tisa note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees She sees the Musician, 'tis all that she sees ! A mountain ascending, a vision of trees ; Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide, He stands, backed by the wall ;—he abates not his And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping in, Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale, From the old and the young, from the poorest; Down which she so often has tripped with her pail ;

and there! And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,

l'he one-pennied Boy has his penny to spare. The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.

O blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand She looks, and her heart is in heaven : but they fade, of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a The mist and the river, the hill and the shade :

band; The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise, I am glad for him, blind as he is!—all the while And the colours have all passed away from hereyes! If they speak 'tis to praise, and they praise with a






That tall Man, a giant in bulk and in height,
Not an inch of his body is free from delight;
Can he keep himself still, if he would ? oh, not he!

The music stirs in him like wind through a tree.
An Orpheus! an Orpheus! yes, Faith may grow bold, Mark that Cripple who leans on his crutch ; like a
And take to herself all the wonders of old ;-
Near the stately Pantheon you'll meet with the same That long has leaned forward, leans hour after
In the street that from Oxford hath borrowed its

hour ! name.

That Mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound,

While she dandles the Babe in her arms to the sound. His station is there; and he works on the crowd, He sways them with harmony merry and loud; He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim_ Now, coaches and chariots ! roar on like a stream;

Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream: Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him?

They are deaf to your murmurs- they care not for

you, What an eager assembly! what an empire is this !

Nor what ye are flying, nor what ye pursue ! The weary have life, and the hungry have bliss ; The mourner is cheered, and the anxious have rest; And the guilt-burthened soul is no longer opprest,




Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful

mind employ

Of him who gazes, or has gazed ? a grave and steady STAR-GAZERS.

joy, What crowd is this? what have we here! we must That doth reject all show of pride, admits outnot pass it by;

ward sign, A Telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky: Because not of this noisy world, but silent and Long is it as a barber's pole, or mast of little boat, divine ! Some little pleasure-skiff, that doth on Thames's waters float.

Whatever be the cause, 'tis sure that they who

pry and pore The Show-man chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's Seem to meet with little gain, seen less happy than busy Square;

before: And is as happy in his night, for the heavens are One after One they take their turn, nor have I one blue and fair;

espied Calm, though impatient, is the crowd; each stands That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.

ready with the fee, And envies him that's looking ;—what an insight

must it be!


[blocks in formation]
« السابقةمتابعة »